Reforming the law of Wills

26 August, 2014
by: Cripps Pemberton Greenish

The Law Commission announced last month that it is planning major changes to the law of wills. The review aims to look at the current test for testamentary capacity (i.e. a person’s mental capacity for making a will), the formalities required to make a will, how wills can be rectified after they have been finalised and mutual wills.

The Commission has stated that by making these changes, they aim to provide ‘greater certainty and protection both for those making wills and those who stand to benefit from them’ and ‘encourage more people to make arrangements for when they die, and avoid the need for expensive litigation’.

Encouraging more people to make arrangements for when they die is certainly welcome as it has been estimated that 40% or more of the adult population are without a will. It is expected that technological advances will be considered to facilitate will-making (such as the ability to create Wills electronically). If this is the case, a careful balance will need to be struck between making use of technological advances without opening the door to technological vulnerabilities.

The Law Commition expects to start the project in early 2015 with a view to publishing a report, final recommendations and draft Bill in early 2018